Smart meter data innovations to trial in Britain

Smart meter data innovations to trial in Britain
Image: Octopus

Two projects to trial a smart meter-based Internet of Things and a third to trial a proof of concept for a smart meter data repository have been given the go ahead.

The three projects, part of a broader programme to investigate innovations to deliver large-scale flexibility to the electricity system, now move into phase 2 following the first phase to establish feasibility.

Smart meter based IoT applications

The IoT programme is focussed on trialling smart meter system-based sensor devices and the supporting data management tools.

Five projects were funded in the first phase, of which the two selected for further development of their solutions and to build and deploy demonstrations are the Hildebrand-led ‘Smart metering IoT system’ with funding of £764,323 (approx. $976,000) and the Octopus-led ‘Low cost enabler to connect IoT data to the smart meter system’ with £625,171 ($795,000).

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The ‘Smart metering IoT system’ project is focussed on demonstrating smart sensing of temperature and humidity within a property, using smart meter data accessible through the Data Communication Company’s (DCC) communications network.

In Phase 1 data collected from temperature and humidity sensing were shown to work within the DCC test environments while maintaining world class security and high service levels.

The project innovates by utilising new types of sensor data accessible through smart meters and the DCC network, without requiring additional operational obligations of suppliers.

Other participants include the University of Salford and Utilita conducting in-home trials.

Octopus’s project will build on its proprietary ‘Octopus Home’ product, which will connect IoT sensor devices to the company’s cloud based platform to allow real time insights on new data metrics such as temperature and humidity.

During phase 2 Octopus Energy along with Rufilla, NCC Group, Silicon Labs and the DCC will look at securing Certified Product Assurance (CPA) security certification of Octopus Home and adding new environment sensors to the device as well as connecting a HAN load control switch or standalone auxiliary proportional controller to the smart metering system via Octopus Home

With consumer consent, sensor data would be transmitted via the smart meter network instead of relying on home networking and device specific private cloud services.

The solution should provide real time data captured through the connected IoT devices, increasing options for the monitoring of smart building devices in the home.

Smart meter energy data repository

The smart meter energy data repository programme is aimed to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of such a repository.

From the three phase 1 projects, the ‘Anonymisation enhanced smart meter data repository’ led by Advanced Infrastructure Technology Ltd has been awarded funding of £850,000 ($1,08 million) for the phase 2 proof of concept.

The project’s approach puts privacy in the foreground, exploring new tools and techniques to protect personal data while sharing anonymised trends and insights to help manage the energy system more efficiently and accelerate the transition to net zero.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks will co-create the solution alongside the DCC, drawing on machine learning research co-developed by the University of Sheffield and Advanced Infrastructure to leverage the power of aggregated smart meter data in reducing the cost of heating and powering homes.

Other partners in the consortium are Perse Technology, which provides data services for the energy and carbon markets, N3rgy which will provide technology to test the provision of secure and scalable access to smart energy data, and the Retail Energy Code Company which will provide expertise aligned with the goal to make the retail energy market efficient.

The timescale of the phase 2 projects is expected to be around 15 months.